Des Plaines, Illinois – The Pioneer baseball team was willing to do whatever it took to keep their season alive, even if that meant playing all day and all night. That's just what they did Saturday against Oakton Community College after falling in ten innings in game one of their best of three Super Regional series. With poor weather pushing game one back several hours, Delta was forced to start game two at 9pm CST and when the dust settled – at 12:15am Sunday – the Pioneers were victorious, winning 5-4 and forcing a winner-take-all game three for a trip to the College World Series.
Things didn't start off well for DC as Oakton led off the game with a double and then collected a one out single to take a 1-0 lead. A two-out, two-run homerun spotted them a 3-0 cushion off Delta ace Drew Schultz before the first inning was over.
But the Pioneer offense had been down five in game one and rallied so a three-run deficit wasn't as discouraging. Matt Fisher's one out single and Caron Longstreth's two out double in the bottom of the first put runners at second and third and when Nolan Raymond hit a two-strike blooper into center field the score was 3-2.
Oakton scored a single run in the top of the third to make it 4-2 but Delta's Nick Johnson singled to start the bottom of the frame and when Longstreth launched a fastball over the left
field wall it was tied up, 4-4. It was Longstreth's fourth homerun of the year and his team leading 43rd RBI.
From that point on, it became the Drew Schultz show as the sophomore righty mowed down the next six batters in order while collecting his seventh strikeout over five innings.
Meanwhile, the Delta offense managed to plate a run in the bottom of the fifth as Johnson drew a leadoff walk and Longstreth was plunked to put two runners aboard with no outs. Nolan Raymond came to the plate and calmly stroked a single to right-center to score Johnson and give the Pioneers a lead they would not relinquish.
Over the final four innings, Schultz surrendered just two hits and struck out eight while facing just one batter over the minimum. He ended the complete game effort with 15 strikeouts and one walk while ending each of the last five innings with a strikeout to improve his season record to 6-1.
Nolan Raymond led the Delta offense with three hits and three RBI while Nick Johnson (two singles, two runs, two walks) and Caron Longstreth (double, HR, two RBI, two runs) chipped in as well. With the win, the JOEs improve to 29-25 on the season and will return to Oakton tomorrow to face the defending national champions in the final game of the Super Regional. The College World Series, which takes place in Greeneville, Tennessee, begins next weekend.